New restrictions on Palestinian security prisoners passed by Knesset committee

Move officially codifiesphone access ban for security prisoners held pending trial or pre-indictment.

July 1, 2015 19:27
1 minute read.
Eshel Prison

Eshel Prison. (photo credit: ISRAEL PRISON SERVICE)


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The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Wednesday approved a regulation allowing the Prisons Service to ban security prisoners held pending trial or pre-indictment from using phones and from working during detention.

These restrictions have effectively been in place for years, but had not been codified.

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MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint List), who for years represented security prisoners as an attorney, said there are people who have been incarcerated for decades and enjoyed numerous furloughs and conjugal visits. He cited the example Ami Popper, a Jew who gunned down seven Palestinians at a day labor site in Rishon Lezion in 1990.

According to the Prisons Service, there are 5,719 security prisoners, and of these, 3,703, including 77 minors, have already been sentenced for their crimes. The new restriction was approved two days after Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan agreed to end a 56-day hunger strike in prison, which he carried out to protest administrative detentions.

The term refers to the practice of indefinitely jailing security crime suspects without a trial.

Such suspects do undergo judicial proceedings although the defense is not able to review the evidence. The practice has long inspired hunger strikes by both prisoners on administrative detention and their supporters behind bars. These, in turn, have often fueled solidarity protests and rioting outside the prison walls.

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